Former Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano’s aid initiative Sampung Libong Pag-asa on Monday selected 30 more recipients for the program, this time from the Tricycle Operators and Drivers Association (TODA) community.
The program, which aims to provide struggling households with financial opportunities as well as immediate relief, gives P10,000 in cash assistance to selected beneficiaries.
Ten beneficiaries each were selected from the Municipality of Bolinao (Pangasinan), Iloilo City, and General Santos City on October 4. An additional 20 beneficiaries were selected from Facebook commenters.
“Bakit natin to ginagawa? Una, dahil ito’y tama. Ito’y utos ng Diyos. Pangalawa, because we can help people,” Cayetano said.
(Why are we doing this? First, because this is what is right. This is the command of the Lord. Second, because we can help people.”
TODA communities across the country have suffered great economic losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with the number of registered associations significantly decreasing in 2020.
This is not the first time Cayetano has developed a project to provide assistance for TODA communities. His Presyo, Trabaho, Kita (PTK) Kontra 5-6 project provides transport groups and other financially vulnerable sectors with access to capital at very low interest rates to provide an alternative to payday loans and loan sharks.
TODAs in Taguig also have the TODA-JODA Pasada program in which drivers are given a year’s worth of PhilHealth coverage plus free medical and dental services.
Monday’s episode featured the story of Edwin Gundale, a former tricycle driver from Marilao, Bulacan who was able to build a new business after being chosen as a beneficiary on May 28, 2021.
Using the aid he received, he was able to put up a sari-sari store to provide new income for his family. Now, he is earning even more than he was before as a tricycle driver.
“Yung natanggap kong Sampung Libo, galling kay Speaker Peter Cayateno, nagbukas kami ng tindahan na halagang pitong libo. Tapos yung natitirang tatlong libo, ginastos naming sa pang araw-araw na pagkain,” he said.
(With the P10,000 I received from Speaker Peter Cayetano, we were able to open a store with P7,000. The rest was used for daily needs and food.)
“Malaking tulong po itong aking natanggap, dito po kami kumukuha na pang kain po pang araw-araw,” he added.
(The aid I received has been a big help. Now, the store is where we get money for daily needs.)